US Solar Optimism Up Everywhere Except California

Despite the ups and downs of 2017 there is still improved confidence for solar installers, experts, and consumers alike except in California.


Last year can be seen as a tumultuous year for the industry for a lot of reasons, especially because of the election of a president who favors different forms of , but despite the ups and downs of 2017 there is still improved confidence for installers, experts, and consumers alike.  

According to a survey conducted by EnergySage and The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, this stat is true, and specifically, installer confidence has “improved significantly” since 2016.  

According to Vikram Aggarwal, EnergySage’s CEO and founder, “From speaking with our installers across the country, we believe there are several reasons for continued optimism, given that prices remain competitive and the solar tariff is expected to have only a limited short-term impact, solar installers have much to look forward to in 2018 and beyond.” 

Energy Sage collected this data on January 13, 2018, and December 14, 2017.  

Installers did have their ups and downs last year, but things like the December 2015 extension of the Federal Investment Tax credit continues to give people in this industry hope of a bright future.  

The report by EnergySage and The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners said, “This year’s more optimistic results may signal that many of the industry’s worst fears from late 2016 did not come to fruition.”  

As for California the percentage of installers in California who are “much more” confident dropped by 13 percent. The installers were “slightly less” or “much less” actually increase by threefold. California’s less confident measure doesn’t translate to the rest of the country, though. Confidence in Solar that was labeled as “much more” confidence increased across the country.  

This doesn’t make sense to most because California is the country’s largest market for solar.  

This lack of confidence as actually shown in California’s growth, for example, there have been declining sales from SolarCity and Vivint. This can be linked to the acquisitions costs and complications around the new net-metering policy.   

From 2015 to 2016 the percentage of installers who claimed that customer acquisition has become easier has dropped. Despite this claim in the survey customer interest remains high. Interestingly enough installers ranked the beginning of the sales process as the least challenging aspect of closing a purchasing deal.  

The data, however, also show that 14 percent of installers claim that closing sales are the most difficult part of the business, and 18 percent have claimed that lead generation is the most challenging.  

Most of the respondents and installers for solar also claim that they are facing fierce competition citing even 21 to 40 different companies in their field that they are competing against. Also, to add on to this competitive market, over 37 percent of installers in 2017 expanded regionally in California.  

It’s not the end of the world for California’s solar industry; there is still confidence and no matter if there are tariffs or not the market is moving in that direction.  

Are you confident in the future of Solar?  



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